Fall 2021 Challenge


Congratulations on getting to this page – Fall 2021 Challenge!

Welcome to Dissertation House online. If you are here, you are in the right place. This is your page to make the most of your experience here. You can get your dissertation finished in 2021 with daily progress.

First of all, Congratulations to all of our new PhDs! (Check our “Alumni” page for regular updates)

You can participate in the online Dissertation House from any part of the world. Students join the Dissertation House (DH) from various states in the US and many countries in the world. The “DHers” who participate come from universities throughout Maryland, with sponsorship from the National Science Foundation’s PROMISE: Maryland’s Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP), and funding from the graduate schools at UMBC, the University of Maryland College Park, and the University of Maryland Baltimore – The Founding Campus. Through the PROMISE Pathways initiative, and the PROMISE AGEP: Maryland Transformation project, we invite and encourage all doctoral students within the University System of Maryland to join us online.

Dr. Wendy Carter-Veale is your “Head Coach.”

Our pre-registered participants are required to blog daily during their time in the Dissertation House and are encouraged to continue blogging until they finish their dissertations.

To join us online:

  1. Go to the comment section below and introduce yourself (name, school, department.) Note: You may use your full name or an alias. If you have a blog, you may use your blogger ID, however, you do not need a username or password to participate.
  2. Tell us what you are working on and what you plan to accomplish today or over the next few days.
  3. Blog daily, preferably twice a day (morning and afternoon/evening) to report your goals for the day, your daily accomplishments, and your goals for the next day.

We will repeat something that we said before, because it is both important and true: Our graduates and participants pushed (and we do mean that they pushed through adversities, complications, and issues) to finish sections, get chapter approval from advisors, complete drafts, pass proposals, pass defenses, and turn in their final documents. These grads are now professors, working in non-profits, industry, and have had postdocs throughout the global academic community (e.g., France, South Africa, Egypt.)

If you have joined us in the past, come back again if you are still working on your document. We are still here, and we will still be part of the community that will cheer you on! Post your goals for the next four months on this page. You are not alone, this is your online community. Focus on completion. As coach Dr. CV says “A good dissertation is a done dissertation.”

22 Responses to Fall 2021 Challenge

  1. Yarazeth Medina says:

    We are getting ready for Dissertation House for non-traditional students during this Fall semester, and we want to say, YOU GOT THIS! We are here to help you achieve your goals, and we are your biggest cheerleaders. Looking forward to seeing you all (online).
    Sincerely, The PROMISE Team.

  2. Yarazeth Medina says:

    Welcome to day one of Dissertation House!!! We are very proud of you for taking the first steps to regroup and write that paper, that thesis, or dissertation. Creating your outline, have a timeline, and have an accountability group will help you successfully finish your program! Remember that DH will help you create a community of students working towards a common goal! And as Dr. CV says, “a good dissertation is a done dissertation!”.

  3. Jaime Barrett says:

    Hello everyone! Thanks again for creating and offering this space for productivity. I am using this opportunity to convert my dissertation proposal to a grant proposal. My goals for today are to cut down my methods section and to assess my lit review for alignment with my questions and objectives.

  4. Hi everybody! My name is Michael Fleming and I am a 5th-year PhD student at UMBC in the Department of Chemical, Biochemical, and Environmental Engineering. I am in the Environmental Engineering program where my research focus is on nutrient recovery from waste streams. By the end of the Dissertation House, I hope to complete the final revision of my PhD proposal document and have an outline for my dissertation. Today, I plan to finish the PhD proposal document and submit it to my committee.

  5. Deepa Gupta says:

    Hi Everyone! My name is Deepa Gupta. I am a Computer Engineering major PhD student at UMBC. Following are the topics that I have to work on:
    1. conference manuscript
    2. journal manuscript
    3. correct a technical library and post final revisions
    4. proposal slides/thesis draft
    5. project draft

  6. Hi everybody! Today, I was about to incorporate all remaining revisions for my PhD proposal document and submit the document to my PhD committee. Tomorrow, I plan to develop an outline for my dissertation document as well as work on my PhD proposal presentation.

  7. sameken says:

    I am so proud of myself I reached 1897 words of my draft, my goal is to reach 3000-word draft by tomorrow. My focus is on transition sentences, and I am working on making connections to two writers. To clarify the similarities, my research and art-making.

  8. Munazza says:

    Hi all! Today, I was able to practice my dissertation proposal presentation, received guidance on my IRB application and how to better compensate study participants, and clarified my research significance statement. Tonight, I will continue practicing my proposal. Tomorrow, I will attend a virtual Anti-oppression practice training (which will inform my dissertation’s intervention development), propose my dissertation to my committee, then work on my IRB application during the remainder of the dissertation house work session.

  9. Jaime Barrett says:

    Hi again! I would consider today a successful day as I cut more than I expected for a few hours of work. Since I let it rest for awhile after my proposal defense I found it easier to assess which aspects were important. Tomorrow I will continue cutting out any superfluous content.

  10. William Walton says:

    Hello everyone,
    My name is William Walton. I am a 7th year part-time Ph.D. student in Electrical Engineering (CSEE) at UMBC, where I am focusing on mammographic image registration (for the purpose of aiding clinicians). Yesterday I had to work, but today is fully for my Ph.D. research. I plan to compile and summarize results from several follow-on experiments related to one of my research questions. (My advisor and I are positioning ourselves for potential anticipated feedback from a journal manuscript we submitted.) Next, I plan to begin implementing an algorithmic modification that is needed for another research question (in my current research phase).

    I wish everyone a very productive day. I will provide an update on my progress later this afternoon.

  11. Deepa Gupta says:

    I was able to break the barrier of starting to write with the dissertation house. Out of the 5 goals mentioned below I completed outline and fillers for my 1st two goals, wrote zombie list of steps for the 3rd. With the start of 2nd day of dissertation house, I have started working on my 4the goal. Listing the goals here again:
    1. conference manuscript
    2. journal manuscript
    3. correct a technical library and post final revisions
    4. proposal slides/thesis draft
    5. project draft

  12. Jaime Barrett says:

    Good morning everyone! I am off to cut more content and get it down to the most important bits and then start to smooth them out and strengthen areas that still need work. My goal for today is to get down to 15 pages. Wish me luck!

    • William says:

      Hi,
      I am not sure if this is applicable, but found that adjusting figure spacing (where appropriate) and carefully revising (and removing) some references helped to remove a page from a paper I was working on.

  13. sameken says:

    Good morning, I am trying to reach my 3000 words today. Critically rereading what I read yesterday. Working on transition sentences and focus on “They say- I say” sentence structures.

  14. Deepa Gupta says:

    I was able to check with Dr. Carter regarding my progress in the one on one session today and get the useful critical feedback on my revised and reorganized proposal draft. With too many publications, thankfully Dr. Carter helped me bring back my focus and priority to the relevant topics for my proposal. Overall, I was able to make progress with my 2 manuscripts and proposal alongside my growth as a PhD student. I have gathered enough material for making future progress as I move forward with writing my proposal further. Thank you very much for organizing this. I wish everyone success and great productivity ahead!

  15. William says:

    Well, I made progress compiling my experimental results.
    I now have another priority in that we finally received reviewer feedback on a paper–which, fortunately was mostly positive–so I have to begin addressing the comments.

  16. sameken says:

    After a whole day of writing, I reached 6100 words my goal was 5000. That number is not important but with the help of Dr. Carter, I make better connections to the two books I reference. My transition sentences are improving. I will keep on working connecting my authors in the text and condensing my writing. Thank you Dr. Carter for your excellent feedback and Yara for facilitating. All the best and see you here soon, Sylvia

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